Re: Genesis Flood

Paul Arveson (
Mon, 6 May 96 16:43:26 EDT

In message <> Glenn Morton writes:
> Dick wrote:
> >Glenn, This is a consistent problem in your methodology. You take
> >a little data and jump to an erroneous conclusion. Look at your
> >own words, "this would prove that the Genesis genealogies are ..."
> >"Prove" is almost never appropriate. "Suggest," "imply," "could
> >indicate," etc. are better terms of expression, especially when you
> >are using only one data point. Now, to answer your question:
> >
> What are the other alternatives. The only possibilities that there are
> are that Luke is correct that Cainan really belongs in the genealogy or
> that Luke is wrong and Cainan does not belong there. How can Cainan be
> partially there? If you can clearly state a different alternative than
> what I have laid out, then I would admit that you are correct.
> I would suggest that you have a very flexible definition of truth and
> falsity. The logic courses I took in grad school do not allow for partial
> truth in this circumstance.

> >In short, the geneologies appear to be complete when we take everything
> >into account.
> Then you would argue that a lineage of people from Abraham (1800 B.C.) to
> Noah (3000 B.C.). --10 people including Cainan are direct descendants,
> with no gaps, over this 1200 year period? This is an average age at the
> birth of each child of 120 years. What vitamins did they take? I want
> some. :-)
> glenn


Back when I was doing Bible studies for students, one bright Jewish student
confronted me with the apparent discrepancy in genealogies between Matt. and
Luke. I know that the standard line is that one is Joseph's and the other is
Mary's, but that wasn't sufficient. The generation counts are so different. It
even appears that Matthew's count doesn't add up to 3 groups of 14 even as he
says it does, unless you overlap a bit.

I examined several commentaries without much light; the best one I found
was a careful and sincere attempt made by the 100-year old edition of Smith's
Bible dictionary, which accounted for some but not all of the problems, and
admitted as much (the new edition has this material removed).

I decided to use the Matthew genealogy problem as a question that I would
ask of all the Bible scholars I met over the years. I thought that (following
a suggestion from Dick Bube) I would thereby get a better practical definition
of "inerrancy" than in any other way. For instance, I asked John Warwick
Montgomery. He said he didn't know the answer, but that I should consult
Jerome's commentary; Jerome would know. (I never located it.) I'm still doing
this; the results have been quite interesting. They more or less follow the
suspicion that inerrancy is qualified indefinitely depending on the difficulty
of the passage.

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-1914 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)
Code 724, NSWC, Bethesda, MD 20084
"Practice thoughtful kindness, and helpful acts of beauty."